Boo! See, this chat is now officially scarier than all others. Now that we've gotten that out of the way, what's on your mind?
If you had to pick who would come out of the south at this point who would you select?
It's wide open. But right now Arizona controls its destiny. If USC loses this weekend, it will have three losses also. If Arizona beats UCLA and ASU, it holds all the tie breakers. UCLA has the big win over ASU, but has to still go through Arizona and USC. Arizona is in a very good position.
There are 8 Pac-12 bowl games with Oregon going to the NC. What if Oregon does not go to the NC game and 9 Pac-12 teams are bowl eligible? Who become the bottom two teams and do they pick up an at large bowl and which at large bowl is likely?
Not sure yet -- have to see which conferences don't fill their bowl requirements. Colorado is the only Pac-12 team officially eliminated, though others aren't far behind. Utah still has a shot, but has tough games against Arizona and Washington. As for which games -- well, Army has a tie-in to the Military Bowl but isn't bowl eligible, so that's a possibility. Also, the Little Ceasars Bowl (meetsa, meetsa) is a possibility.
Did any title contender have a worse week than Oregon last Saturday with both USC and Oregon State losing to unranked opponents? How much will last week's events hurt them against the Notre Dame PR machine that actually has an excellent team to back it up this year?
Yeah, last weekend didn't help. But what Oregon has in its favor is its No. 2 in both human polls. They aren't going to slip out of that spot and they can only go up in the computers, so I still submit that if Oregon runs the table, they'll be there.
If Bama loses this weekend could we really see a Notre Dame vs. Kansas State national title game?
Not if there's an undefeated Oregon team.
Should Oregon be worried about my curse? You know, every FBS team we play loses the next week? I have a voodoo doll of Puddles ready to be impaled!
Haha. I was just writing about that for tomorrow morning's "What to Watch" post. It's pretty crazy how that's worked out.
Who wins in a Notre Dame-Oregon match-up?
what are your thoughts on Shaw giving more reps to Hogan? Is the end near for Nunes? If Hogan comes out strong in first half against Colorado, could he just take over and play the whole second half?
When I wrote the Nunes column after the Washington loss, I got SLAMMED for basically saying don't knock the guy after one loss. Give him a few more weeks with the stipulation that if he hasn't shown progress in a few weeks, then we can open up the discussion. Well, he hasn't shown much improvement so I think this is a good opportunity playing against a down Colorado team to start experimenting with a new QB. So I like the move and if he plays well enough, then maybe we see a switch. But I don't think Shaw is ready to hand everything over to him just yet.
Which of the PAC's first-year QBs has impressed you the most this year? Which returning QB has been the most disappointing?
It's a toss up between Marcus Mariota and Brett Hundley -- but I'm going to give the nod to Hundley for now because he's only been in this system since spring and he's performed in clutch situations (see the fourth-quarter drive last week). I don't doubt Mariota couldn't do it, but we haven't had a chance to see him in a close game yet.
Matt Scott should be up for Offensive Player of the Year. Why isn't he even in consideration with you guys he is putting up big numbers
Agreed. I have a story about that coming out tomorrow.
I will be the first to admit the Beavs didn't look good this weekend. How much do you think that hit on Wheaton affected the momentum, and do you think that should have been flagged?
I was at the game and I watched it very closely -- it was a weird play because they were both moving in the same direction, which made it an awkward hit. It probably should have been flagged, but in real time, it's so hard to make that call -- and I don't think it was intentional or dirty. As for how it hurt the team -- well, anytime you lose your top player it hurts.
Is Kiffin fired if USC finishes with 4 or 5 losses?
Besides TJ Mcdonald, who else should the Ducks be worried about on the Trojans defense?
Morgan Breslin has been as good as any defensive lineman in the conference. He'll break up a few in the backfield.
Give us Trojans fans some reasons for optimism, please!
You beat them on the road last year and you have a ton of playmakers. Does that help?
"But right now Arizona controls its destiny"USC controls it's own destiny. Arizona needs a USC loss.
That was with the stipulation of USC losing this weekend. Can't remember if I typed that or not. But yes, USC needs a loss.
Who rushes for more yards this weekend, UCLA Franklin or AZ Carey?
Hmmmm... good question. I like UCLA's defense a little better than Arizona's, but Carey has been outstanding. Both probably clear 125.
Utah managed a win over what appeared to be a Cal team that has given up. What are their chances in making a bowl, given that they play the Jekyll (Insanely good at home) Huskies and the Hyde (So-so on the road) Wildcats? Can't overlook those Buffaloes either, not after last year.As an aside: If you don't field my question, Ted will receive the full brunt of my strongly-worded-yet-delightfully-civil email.
I think they are still in the mix -- but playing at Seattle has been brutal for road teams this year and Arizona is on fire. I'll give them a one-in-three shot of making a bowl game.
If Oregon plays for the title, would the Rose Bowl pick ND to fill their slot for the first time since 1925?
Not if there is an eligible Pac-12 team.
How much can Cal realistically pay for a new coach?
Good question. There are a lot of debts to be paid on the new stadium and there are some PSL sales that have to be made. Jon Wilner wrote a great piece about it a couple of weeks ago. Google and give it a read.
What are you and Ted going to be for Halloween?
Disgruntled sports writers.
Kevin - I take issue with Embree constantly blaming the talent level as the reason for the Buffs' woes. I understand the talent isn't there compared to the other teams, but the coaching has done little to limit the talent gap (see losses to CSU, Sac St, and 50+ losses in recent weeks). I know you will argue for patience, but I can't see this thing every turning the corner in Boulder with the current staff. Should CU cut the cord and admit a cheap, feel good hire of a lifelong TE coach with Buffs ties wasn't the way to go? It smells of Paul Wulff (WSU) all over again. Time for CU to pony up the big bucks and get a HC with some experience?
Take all the issue you want -- he's right. And yes, I'll continue to preach patience because he needs at least three or four recruiting cycles to get his guys in there. Then we can judge. But if you're a Colorado fan, I truly, truly understand your frustration.
Are you saying that the Rose bowl would pick a 10-2 Oregon State team ahead of a 12-0 Notre Dame team, if the Big Ten champ was, say Nebraska? Is there some agreement that the bowl made with the conference, cause it seems like ND/Nebraska would be a better matchup to market...
Yes. The Rose Bowl has been barking about keeping up the Pac-12 Big Ten tradition. I don't see that breaking if there is a Pac-12 team that's eligible.
How will Oregon's secondary match up against Woods and Lee from USC?
That's the big question, isn't it. I think Oregon's secondary has been fantastic. But Lee is playing on another level right now. I think he'll get his touches and some points. Will it be enough? Predictions come out tomorrow at 6 a.m.
how does Austin Hill get so wide open? I cant beleive teams like USC and Stanford cant cover the guy. If you shut him down, you could shut down that arizona offense. the other receivers arent that good, and you would force them to run which means making matt scott vulnerable. i hope the bruins figure that out on film.
He gets so wide open because he's usually got 1-on-1 coverage in man or zone defenses are so spaced out trying to cover everything else. That's the beauty of the offense - use of space.
kEVIN, I keep reading people pointing out that USC's defense lost the game when it was the exact opposite. Our offense turned the ball over 5 times and left the defense out there for over 90 plays. I think our defense did good to keep it that close
Let's call it a team loss -- then everyone feels bad about themselves (except Arizona fans).
What is the over-under for A-listers on the sidelines in the Collesium on Saturday?
Does Ted Miller count as an A-lister?
I would love to hear your thoughts on the UCLA UA game at the Rose Bowl this weekend. Title still up in the air.
Think it might turn out to be the most interesting game of the weekend. Both teams coming in on major highs after emotional wins. Fantastic matchup of first-year coaches who have exceeded expectations. So many great storylines.
How important are the injuries to Dior Jordan and Mana Greig, ontop of other key players coming back from injuries (Lyerla, Alonso, etc,), considering the upcoming battle with SC
Chip doesn't talk much about injuries. So we don't know the extent. But Oregon has been able to absorb every injury they've had this year flawlessly. Part of that comes with getting your second and third teamers extra work -- as they've been able to do in every game this year. I know we'd all like to see a full complement of players.
Happy halloween buddy
You too, pal.
He once almost had a date with Madonna, that puts Ted really close to the a list of some kind.
Ha! How great was that column. Love me some snarky Miller.
Are Wheaton and Woods good to go for the ASU game?
Haven't heard a no on Woods, so I think he's good. Wheaton, they are continuing to evaluate and go through the process, but it sounds like he's going to be OK.
do you think utah has a pasing game hiding in their somewhere??????
If they do, now'd be a heck of a time to start pulling it out.
I am a police officer, and this morning on my midnight shift, I was asked by someone who called us if I was really a cop or if it was a halloween costume. Is this a good omen for my weekend or a bad omen?
Uhm... yes, with an if. No, with a but.
AZ St upset Oregon St?
Maybe. That's a tough game to call considering Oregon State's QB status. And the Beavers have actually played better on the road (until last weekend) than they had at home. I think that's a real make-or-break game for the Sun Devils because they have a tough road ahead.
Why isnt Matt Scott getting more love for all-conference or player of the year?
As I noted earlier, I've got a story on MS coming out tomorrow. Read and enjoy.
How does Washington start putting more points on the board?
Not turning the ball over is a good start. They won the turnover battle last week and, voila, look what happens. The defenses aren't going to be as tough down the stretch, either.
Devils go 6-6 and you owe me a chipotle gift card, don't forget our bet from a couple weeks ago when you bet we would go 7-5. I am holding you to it!
I didn't forget. :-)
Who wins the Heisman this year?
Who does? Or who should? Big difference. I think Klein probably wins based on his resume. Is he the best player in the country? No. I still think that belongs to DAT. But he doesn't have the resume right now for a Heisman. And I've actually had Barner No. 2 on my Heisman ballot for the last three weeks because I think he's the most complete running back in the country right now.
I give up.................. (Not having my questions answered for soon to be 5 weeks in a row)
Sorry Jared. They are coming fast and furious today. Nothing personal. Happy Halloween.
Calling it now. WSU beats the Utes and then both run the table, keeping the Ute and Leach bowl streaks alive.
So you're saying that the likely Pac-12 title game this year is going to be a rematch of 49-0 ?
Very possible. But I suspect it won't be 49-0 a second time around. Arizona is playing some darn good football right now. Don't think it would be enough to top the Ducks, but I think it would be a better game.
Hey Jared don't worry. He ignores me every week.
Liz, absolutely. I go out of my way to ignore you and only you.
Arizona has a ___% chance of winning the south.Arizona has a ___% chance of making the rose bowl.
If qqqqqqquackkkkkkkk is right, does AZ go to the Rose Bowl after a loss?
No -- they would have five losses and wouldn't qualify as being in the top 14 of the BCS rankings.
I feel special
Never stop feeling special.
If Washington wins out, do you think they would crack the BCS top 15? Seeing as how they beat two top 10 teams this season.
Don't think so. They aren't in the human polls yet and the strength of the schedule on the back end won't exactly do wonders with the computers.
Considering Oregon wins on Saturday night, who on the team gets the game ball for the flight home?
You do, buddy.
If we win out and lose to Oregon, kevin, we would have FOUR losses
You're right -- my bad. Still, a four-loss team still wouldn't qualify. But I appreciate the correction.
What are the odds a Pac 12 teams doesn't go to the Rose Bowl this year?
It's possible. Not sure there will be another team in the top 14. A lot hinging on Stanford and Oregon State.
Thanks, Kevin, nothng personal :)
It never is... just trying to get answers out quickly.
2 Questions: BCS/BS Rankings Q - If the computers are actually 1/3 of the rankings, (THE MATH DOESN'T WORK) then how do the 2 human polls, or 2/3, not have as much significance or pull as the computers, or 1/3? Example: #2, #2, & #5 = #4? By my math, #2, #2, & #5 = #3 at worst. Is there any reasonable explanation for the "average" being mathematically "WRONG?" Part deuce: Is anybody else thinking (like me) that USC's going to be off, after losing last week & playing very well, yet still bringing home the L? (There were mistakes, but hardly enough to hand that game to Az!) USC players are going to be down on themselves/lost confidence, I think.
Kevin, not sure you follow it other than the easy to follow USC class, but how does the rest of the conference stack up with it's recruiting for 2013 so far?
Oregon has some horses coming in. Stanford allegedly has it's next pro-style QB coming in. UCLA has some A-listers and yes -- Colorado -- has some recruits that can turn heads. I'm not as up on it as I was in the offseason, but I think there are some quality guys coming around. Arizona and ASU both have some top-flight guys as well.
If Arizona Loses to Oregon they would be 9-4 not 9-5
Yep, noted and apologized.
Im confused.... Is stanford good or bad this year??? If and when the Ducks destroy them, will that be enough to shoot Oregon above Notre Dame or does that somehow not count to the BSC computers? (PS- My name is not Kevin Gemmell)
I'm not sure what to make of Stanford either. Great defense, below average offense. If Stanford beats Oregon State, it will up the quality of Oregon's win. As I said earlier, Oregon still is No. 2 in both human polls, which is 2/3 of the process. Unless Oregon looks terrible down the stretch, the human voters aren't going to change their votes. Oregon can only get better in the computers. If they win, they are in.
I think Oregon is as good or better than anyone in the country except Bama, thoughts...
Sure. I've had them at No. 1 the last four weeks in my Top 25 -- much to the dismay of folks in Mobile, Ala., who have flooded my mailbag with colorful emails.
Excited for The Hobbit movie?
Sort of. If I get a free afternoon, maybe I check it out.
Miller did costumes for the coaches, I really want to know each of their favorite Halloween candies.
For the record, half of those were mine -- Miller just hogged the byline and didn't put me up there. But no, I'm not bitter that he's trying to steal the spotlight.
But ignore even short, one-liner answerable FOOTBALL-related one?
I spend 59 minutes on football questions and about 1 minute each week on fun ones. I can stop if you guys really want.
true or false: if mariota didn't get pulled every second half, he'd be a heisman favorite
False. I think he'd get some nods and consideration, but when push came to shove, I don't think people would be sold enough. Next year or the year after? Look out.
DONT IGNORE ME KEVIN! LOUD NOISES! lol, WIll the Dawgs be ranked if they win out and go 8-4? Even #25?? I cant remember if four loss teams are usually ranked or not by the end of the season!?
I think they could crack the top 25.
What do I tell my players at the end of the season? How do I prepare them for the next season and not give up on themselves?
Show them game film of Oregon State from this year. The Beavers played a ton of young players last year and they took their lumps. Colorado's players are going to get better.
If I didn't cancel the game vs Oregon this year, who would have picked up the victory in that game?
whats the best bowl that Arizona can get into as of right now??
The Rose Bowl. Win the conference championship game and they are in.
Does Oregon want Oregon State to beat stanford? Keep it real k-dog
Probably. Beating a one-loss team would probably be better than a two-loss team.
Is Coach Whitt a great average coach or an okay great coach?
Whittingham is a "GREAT" coach. Give him time to develop depth and Utah is going to be a player in the conference.
Will the real Arizona please stand up?
It did last week.
Will Vaz have enough time throw against ASU's D front coming at him like he owes them money?
I think Oregon State's offensive line deserves more credit than it's been getting because that group has come together really well. Wondering how healthy Sutton and Junior will be and how much of an impact they make in this game.
Who has more football smarts? You or Ted?
I've been doing this for 16 years, Ted's got a little more age and experience on me. But one of the things I would do as a beat writer was watch film with coaches so I picked up a ton of x-and-0 stuff. I'd say it's a push. He's a much, much better columnist than I am though.
If you outpick Ted on the season, do you get a crown?
I took the lead last week by going 4-2 (he went 2-4, I believe). I'm going to have a belt made up.
So Mike Riley has lamented after the last two games that the Beavers should run the ball more. Hmmmm. Isn't he the dude calling the plays now? How do you criticize yourself without making the adjustment? Thanks.
Hehe. I see your point. But I think what he was getting at was that they need to be in better positions to run the football and not be forced into more passing situations.
Why is it that I like Ted a lot more than you?
Not sure. But I like Ted better than me too.
Just speculation, but it seems to be DAT will be considerably more dangerous this weekend against USC than he was last year. He has ZERO fourth quarter touches on the YEAR, and probably less than 15 in the final 3 quarters. Seems to me USC has very little idea of what's going to be coming at them. Especially since the Ducks finally started running those outside sweeps again this weekend against the Buffs. And look how that turned out...
I think Chip has been saving DAT for the home stretch -- and this game in particular. He's fresh and healthy. That's scary.
UCLA has a ____% chance of winning this weekend.
What does it say about Oregon and the Pac 12 in general if the Ducks lay 40+ on USC and win by more than two touchdowns?
It says Oregon is really, really good. Don't think it's an indictment on the conference.
Do you think Star is underperforming this year??? I was reading WSU blog that seemed to think that Star was flopping against the hype??? I disagree as do all the Scouts but what do you think?
He's doing exactly what he's supposed to do. He's a monster and a top 10/5 draft pick.
it seems like "freshness" is the flip side to "untested by close games," would you agree? Also, i think i'd rather have a fresh team than a tired and tested team...
That's very true. I know Oregon does a lot of work in practice to try and simulate close-game situations. But they haven't been one yet. Coming back full-circle to one of the first questions I answered today, I think we learned a lot about Brett Hundley this last weekend. He got put into that tight situation and performed. We haven't seen the Ducks have to white-knuckle one yet. And I agree on having the fresher team. There's a reason they are fresh and rested.
You, along with 5 Harris voters have had Oregon #1 in your rankings(you in the ESPN Power Poll-the only one there). Have the other voters not even watched Oregon play this season? Or are you 6 the only bright ones among you voters? (thanks btw!)
I'm a little more surprised a couple of other voters haven't given the Ducks the top nod. I don't think I'm making any sort of statement -- it's really not that difficult of an argument to make. I guess I don't yield to the SEC dogma.
How scared are the Tide of an UNDEFEATED/UNDEFEATABLE Duck squad?
Do you see Chip Kelly ever going to the NFL?
I think -- for now -- he's happy. Ever? I don't ever want to see ever or never because things change. We know he'll pick up the phone and have the conversation, but I'm not sure he wants to leave what he's built. I think winning a national championship might leave him thinking he's got nothing left to accomplish in college. But he's also in an amazing situation at Oregon. It's possible, but right now, not likely. Just my opinion.
Sounds like Sutton is going to be able to play for ASU this weekend, if he is his usual dominate disruptive self and ASU pulls out the upset how much does that help his cause in terms of national cred? Conference/National award attention?
Doing it on the road against a ranked team certainly helps. Not sure how healthy he is, though. Will be an interesting sidebar to this game with Crichton and Sutton playing some of the best D-line in the conference/country.
Mannion or Vaz? Which QB gives the Beav's their best shot of closing out the season with 1 more loss?
I was a little surprised Riley pulled the trigger so quickly. When you look at quarterbacks at CenturyLink -- all of them have struggled (50 percent completion percentage, 165 yard average, 3 TDs, 7 ints). And that includes Katz, Barkley, Nunes and Mannion. But then again, Riley is the one in practices, poring over game film and ultimately this is what he thought was best for his team.
We ran over again today -- it's just so much darn fun. Thanks for coming out. You've got Ted tomorrow. Have fun however you celebrate tonight and be safe.